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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel should start Kai Havertz over club record signing Romelu Lukaku in the Carabao Cup final, according to former Blues defender Glen Johnson.
Lukaku rejoined Chelsea in a £97.5m move from Inter Milan in the summer but has struggled for consistency since returning to English football.
His disappointing season reached a new low last Saturday when he had just seven touches of the ball in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
He was subsequently dropped for Tuesday’s Champions League match against Lille, with Tuchel admitting he had taken the Belgium international out of the “fire”.
Havertz started up front for Chelsea instead and scored after just eight minutes in a 2-0 win for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Johnson believes the German should keep his place in the side when Chelsea face another of his former clubs Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.
“I think it was a mistake to sign him [Lukaku] for £100m or whatever it was,” Johnson told SPORTbible, speaking on behalf of bettingexpert.com.
“He’s a good player but sometimes I think the Premier League is too quick for him. He’s not the most mobile guy, he’s a big target guy.
“He’s great at what he does but I think Chelsea need a footballing striker if that makes sense.
“I would start Havertz [in the Carabao Cup final] and let them think their way into the game.
“I think Chelsea look a lot more threatening when they’ve got a false nine.”
It will be 17 years to the day since Johnson helped Chelsea beat Liverpool 3-2 in the 2005 League Cup final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Jose Mourinho’s side would go on to lift the Premier League title that season with a record 95 points and Johnson is fully aware of the benefits of a domestic cup win.
“If we’d lost that final we probably still would have won [the title], but it does give you great momentum,” added Johnson, who would also win the League Cup with Liverpool in 2012.
“If you can lift a trophy and get that morale going in February, it gets the whole club going.
“All the backroom staff are happy, everyone is on cloud nine. It certainly carries great weight.”
When asked to predict the result of this Sunday’s final, Johnson was reluctant to pick a winner.
“My two boys, one’s a Chelsea fan and one’s a Liverpool fan. With me playing for both, I can just sit there and enjoy the game,” added Johnson.
“Whoever wins, wins. It’s a game I can’t lose!”
Who do you think will win Sunday’s Carabao Cup final? Let us know your thoughts.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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